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SEFEGeorge

VA Question

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Just spent 3 days in the Elmendorf AFB hospital with breathing problems. Since I'm a VA patient Providence Hospital transferred me to JBER for admittance. Come to find out on top of my COPD I've got a "blemp" (?) on the top of my left lung which is blocking some of the O2/CO2 transfer. They're wanting to send me to the Seattle Va to get the upper lobe removed to help with the breathing. Guess if this thing bursts it could cause a collapsed lung, etc.

Just wondering if anyone has had any dealings with being sent to another state like this, and in this case having to fly there even with my severe COPD and breathing issues? Wondering if VA provides an escort, etc., or do they do a medivac flight in cases like this, or fly on a transport with a military nurse, etc?

Just need to get an appointment with my pulminologist come Monday. I saw her at JBER on Friday. So I imagine that something will get worked out. I'm on home O2 but also found out that my oxygen saturation should not be 98%. It should be around 94% for better lung function and O2/CO2 exchange.

Anyway, just curious. Guess I'll find out more once I see the doc.

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George,

If you are 100% disability no sweat. It's up to them to get you there and there should be no prob with billing.

Thanks for the reply. Not 100% disabled though. See my pulmonologist on the 11th. Hopefully she'll have some information for me. My Medicare should be started in a few weeks anyway.

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Flying with oxygen shouldn't be a problem as aircraft are pressurized and permit normal breathing and oxygen saturation. Best wishes for a quick recovery after your surgery. (ps. I worked at Elmendorf Hospital 1983-1987. Do they still light the star on top at Christmas?)

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Flying with oxygen shouldn't be a problem as aircraft are pressurized and permit normal breathing and oxygen saturation. Best wishes for a quick recovery after your surgery. (ps. I worked at Elmendorf Hospital 1983-1987. Do they still light the star on top at Christmas?)

After all my years of flying with out giving it 2nd thought, flying now is a big concern of mine. The portable O2 concentrator we have is nice but the 2 batteries only seem to last about an hour each. Can plug it in but not sure if airlines have any kind of electrical plugs located where it can be plugged in.

Not sure about the star. I live on the other side of town from the base, out by the airport. So I don't get over in that area very often. The "new" hospital is awesome. Don't remember when it was opened. The "new" VA clinic just outside the Muldoon gate is very nice as well. The VA clinic and the hospital are connected by a long walkway.

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Don't know how I missed this post way last October, SEFEGeorge. How did the surgery go? I wouldn't have been able to advise you on the transportation questions you had, but a few years ago I had the very same diagnosis as you, and had the same surgery. I've had pulmonary problems for years, and although I no longer cough up blood I still have to deal with classification on the lungs. I'm hacking and coughing all the time. The surgery was pretty "heavy duty", and I hated that chest tube!! I do have some pretty nice scars, though!!!

You are still very active on the form here, so I assume all want well?!?!

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Tin, haven't had the surgery yet. Got the word back from the doc in Seattle. Have to complete the pulmonary rehab program. 18 weeks or so at Providence Medical Center, so that's a little bit down the road. The some kind of test at Providence. I think it's to see how much O2 I would need while flying. Plus another PFT test. I hate that damn thing. I've have 2 of them over the past 2 years and each time I thought they were trying to kill me. Put inside a plexiglass phone booth, hooked up to some do-dads, and then breath through a hose, and then start blowing out as hard as you can for at least 10 seconds or more while the computer tracks your progress. Don't remember how many times we did this but, damn, talk about getting light headed and feeling weak.

With the new Elmendorf hospital and Providence Medical Center here you would think that they could do the surgery here and not have to travel to Seattle. Spoke with a civilian specialist doc here last year and he said Seattle since there may be problems and just in case a transplant is needed.

So I'm just sitting here, puffing on my O2. Waiting on whatever decisions are made.

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